The redrawing of California’s legislative district lines based on 2010 Census information means that members of the Legislature and Congress will lose old constituents and gain new ones. Some will find themselves living outside their own districts and in the same district with a neighboring legislator.
Among those affected are members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
• Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento), who currently represents the 5th Congressional District, announced Aug. 15 — the day that the Citizens Redistricting Commission voted on final maps for the new congressional districts for the 2012 election — that she will seek re-election.
“I look forward to the honor of running to represent the cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento, as well as parts of Sacramento County, in the new 6th Congressional District,” she said in a statement.
“It has been my privilege to represent the vast majority of that district in the U.S. House of Representatives for the past six years. Sacramento and West Sacramento share many things in common and I look forward to vigorously representing both communities in the next Congress. The priorities for our region are many – higher levels of flood protection, expanding transportation corridors, creating new jobs and growing our economy with new sectors like clean energy and medical technology.
“I will continue to stand up for our region in Congress and never back down. Whether it is protecting our Social Security and Medicare or fighting for working families. I look forward to representing the Sacramento area, and both cities, in Congress as we work toward ensuring our community remains a great place to work, live, and play for generations to come.”
• Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose), who represents the 15th Congressional District, will be running in the new 17th Congressional District, which includes portions of southern Alameda County as well as many of his current Santa Clara County constituents.
“I am proud to announce my candidacy for California’s 17th Congressional District,” he said on Aug. 3. “I offer a record of service and dedication to the region, one that prioritizes the issues, not the politics of the day. I have dedicated my life to public service as a Peace Corps volunteer, teacher, principal, school board member, member of the (Santa Clara) County Board of Supervisors, California state assemblyman, and now as a member of Congress.
“As a senior representative in the House Budget and Appropriations committees, I am fighting for the necessary resources to promote our region’s needs, like BART, transportation, health care, high-tech research and innovation, the environment and education. Having represented the southern part of the (new) 17th Congressional District for many years, I am looking forward to the opportunity to represent the communities of Fremont and Newark as well. I will continue to offer the highest quality constituent services to the entire district.
“As a Japanese American member of Congress, chair emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the only Asian American congressperson fluent in Spanish, I welcome the opportunity to continue to represent one of the most diverse districts in the nation.
“I will remain a fierce advocate for the civil rights of all, reforming a dysfunctional immigration system, and addressing income inequality. I would be honored to serve the 17th District of California and offer my record of lifetime public service for consideration. I stand ready to serve with integrity, intelligence, courage and innovation.”
• Rep. Judy Chu (D-El Monte), current chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, represents the 32nd Congressional District. On Aug. 5, she announced her intention to run in the new 27th Congressional District:
“I have had the honor of serving the residents of the San Gabriel Valley, having been elected 11 times over the past 26 years, from my days on the Garvey School District Board of Education to serving as mayor on the Monterey Park City Council, then the California State Assembly, the Board of Equalization and now in Congress. I look forward to continuing to serve many of the same cities I represented in the State Assembly. And I will work hard to serve the new areas in the 27th Congressional district to address their specific needs and concerns.”
On the Board of Equalization, Chu represented all of Los Angeles County. In the Assembly, her district encompassed many of the cities now redistricted into the 27th Congressional District, such as Monterey Park, Alhambra, Rosemead, San Gabriel, and San Marino.
Since being elected to Congress, Chu has continued to work to help Americans emerge from the recession, co-sponsoring a bill that would extend and expand the successful Jobs NOW program, which used federal stimulus funds to subsidize jobs at the local level and resulted in more than 11,000 jobs in Los Angeles County alone.
As a member of the House Small Business Committee, she brought federal resources to her district to help stimulate the local economy, and sponsored small business workshops and job fairs to provide critical resources to hundreds of constituents.
Chu has used her experience as a legislator and educator to help improve the nation’s education system, helping pass a landmark college affordability bill to boost federal college grants and keep student loan interest rates low. She has also unveiled a new framework for awarding School Improvement Grants called Strengthening Our Schools (SOS), which provides a holistic and research-based alternative to punitive and restrictive guidelines currently used.